Russian helicopter 'accidentally' shot down by Azerbaijan forces

Russian military helicopter is ‘accidentally’ shot down by Azerbaijan forces, killing two crew members and prompting immediate apology to Putin

  • Mi-24 helicopter shot down in Armenia near Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic 
  • Aircraft was hit by man-portable air defence system at 2.30om on Monday 
  • It accompanied convoy to Russia’s military base and third person was injured

A Russian military helicopter was shot down by Azerbaijan forces, killing two crew members.

The Mi-24 helicopter was shot down in Armenia near the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, a landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan, the defence ministry in Moscow said. 

The statement said that the helicopter was hit near the village of Yeraskh at around 2.30pm as it accompanied a convoy to Russia’s military base in Armenia. 

A Russian military helicopter was shot down by Azerbaijan forces, killing two crew members (pictured) 

The Mi-24 helicopter was shot down in Armenia near the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, a landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan (pictured)

The statement said that the helicopter was hit by a man-portable air defence system on Monday.

Their forces are fighting Armenian-backed separatists in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

A third person was injured and evacuated, the ministry said in a statement, and a probe at the Russian base is under way.

Armenian authorities said the Russian helicopter had crashed ‘in a gorge’ near the village of Yeraskh.

The incident came during a spike in fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian separatists.

Azerbaijan said on Sunday its forces had captured the strategic town of Susha, but Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Monday that fighting was continuing.

Russia, which has a military alliance with Armenia, has said it would only intervene if fighting reached Armenian soil.

A third person was injured and evacuated, the ministry said in a statement, and a probe at the Russian base is under way 

 Armenian authorities said the Russian helicopter had crashed ‘in a gorge’ near the village of Yeraskh (crash site, pictured) 

This was after Pashinyan asked President Vladimir Putin to begin ‘urgent’ consultations on security assistance.

New clashes broke out in late September between Azerbaijan and Armenian-backed separatists over Nagorno-Karabakh, which declared its independence nearly 30 years ago.

The recent fighting has been the worst in decades, with at least 1,000 people killed including dozens of civilians, with the death toll believed to be much higher. 

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